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Lincoln County Place Names
Bill Cross Rapids
Named for William (Bill Cross) Harrison, who lived opposite the Bill Cross Rapids on the Wisconsin River. He was one-fourth Sioux Indian and an ordained priest who had been sent to the area as a missionary. He later renounced the priesthood and married an Indian woman.
Named for the Bloom family, who were early settlers in the area. This tiny village was established in 1891.
Salem Gleason and his wife, Sarah Jane, journeyed to the northern Wisconsin wilderness in the fall of 1880 in a covered wagon. At Jenny (Merrill) they heard trappers, hunters and other travelers tell of the fabulous beauty of the country farther north. At a bend in the road where the Prairie River meandered through tall pines, maples, oak and birch, the fall colors were unbelievably beautiful, the Gleason's decided to settle there.Their log house became a stopping place for all travelers including Indians. A settlement grew and Mr. Bradley, from Tomahawk, built a branch railroad line to it, and then a bank. Many people thought the town should be named Bradley. A town meeting was called and it was named Gleason.
The town was originally called Mitchell after an old settler. The name was changed to honor President Benjamin Harrison.
The Soo Line was built through the area in 1885. Later the tracks were laid for the Marinette, Tomahawk and Western Railroad, from near Heafford Junction to Tomahawk. It was to join the Grand Trunk Railway, but the man financing it died and the project was never completed. The Chicago-Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad was built in 1890. The first railroad agent was a Mr. Heafford and the settlement was named Heafford Junction.
The town was officially laid out as Courtland by the Milwaukee Land Company in 1887. Later the name was changed to Irma after the depot agent's daughter.
Joe Snow Road
Joe Snow built Joe Snow Road and homesteaded on Joe Snow Hill. He was a member of the crew that built a dam and sawmill for Andrew Warren, who was the first permanent settler of Jenny.(Merrill)
David K. Jeffris built a sawmill here in 1891 and named the settlement for his brother, James K. Jeffris of Janesville. Its post office was called Bundy after Mr. Bundy of Grand Rapids, Michigan, who had large timber interests here. The post office is closed.
A contest determined the name of this lake in 1926 when Mr. Herbert Atcherson chose the name Mohawskin---MO from Somo--- HAWK--- from Tomahawk---SIN from Wisconsin--- the names of the three rivers that met at that point. Originally called Lake Tomahawk, the name was changed to avoid confusion with the Lake Tomahawk in Oneida County.
This lumbering settlement on the Wisconsin River was first called Jenny Bull Falls. Rivermen said the fast rapids sounded like a bull raging in the distance. Jenny was the name they gave to an Indian girl, the daughter of the Potawatomi Chief. The rivermen courted her, and when she died in pregnancy, her father wanted her honored. The name was shortened to Jenny Falls and then to Jenny. In 1881 and act of the state Legislature changed the name to Merrill in honor of S.S.Merrill, General Manager of the Wisconsin Central Railroad.
An Indian name meaning, "creek that runs through bluffs."
The City was started by William Henry Bradley at the junction of the Tomahawk and the Wisconsin Rivers. It was named after the Tomahawk River which begins in the chain of lakes headed by Tomahawk Lake. Indians say this very old waterway was named as a result of a battle between the Sioux and the Chippewa Indians when a tomahawk or Indian hatchet was buried on the shore to commemorate peace between the tribes.
The Romance of Wisconsin Place Names
Contributed by Dawn---Endos@aol.com